Skip to main content

Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

See other formats


TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

tools;   how she stood here painting, had never
married, not even William Bankes.

Mrs. Ramsay had planned it. Perhaps, had
she lived, she would have compelled it. Already
that summer he was "the kindest of men". He
was " the first scientist of his age, my husband
says". He was also "poor William—it makes
me so unhappy, when I go to see him, to find
nothing nice in his house—no one to arrange the
flowers". So they were sent for walks together,
and she was told, with that faint touch of irony
that made Mrs. Ramsay slip through one's fingers,
that she had a scientific mind; she liked flowers;
she was so exact. What was this mania of hers
for marriage? Lily wondered, stepping to and
fro from her easel.

(Suddenly, as suddenly as a star slides in the
sky, a reddish light seemed to burn in her mind,
covering Paul Rayley, issuing from him. It rose
like a fire sent up in token of some celebration by
savages on a distant beach. She heard the roar
and the crackle. The whole sea for miles round
ran red and gold. Some winy smell mixed with
it and intoxicated her, for she felt again her own
headlong desire to throw herself off the cliff and
be drowned looking for a pearl brooch on a beach.
And the roar and the crackle repelled her with fear
and disgust, as if while she saw its splendour and
270